Finished drrawing by Treden Wagoner 2002


A value study is an important exercise as it helps you discover the expressiveness and the limitations of your drawing tool. Begin by marking off on your drawing paper a row of five squares. Using your charcoal or other drawing tool make the first square as dark as you can. Move through the squares making them progressively lighter. You can change the value of the mark your tool makes by using variable pressure on the tool. The harder you push the darker the mark. The opposite is also true.The last square will be as light as you possibly can make it while still making marks on the paper.

Objective: discover the full range of value capable by your drawing tool


Gesture drawings are quick loose drawing. They are meant to capture the essence of what has been draw in the fewest lines and the shortest amount of time.

Gesture drawing exercises are a good way to warm up the muscles of the arm and begin to make the hand/eye connection that will be necessary for more intensive drawing exercises. Think of gesture drawings as a warm-up or stretch, as you would before jogging.

Objective: To warm up drawing muscles in the hand and arm and increase the connection between the hand and eye.

Contour and Blind Contour

Contour drawing exercises are designed to help the draftsperson to see the shape of the positive space an object takes up. The contour line describes that space. The contour line drawing does not include interior details. In the example to the right, the lip of the cup and the planes of the handle are not described. The exercise is more effective with more complex objects or groups of objects.

Objective: To focus on the imprint the positive space of an object has on its surroundings.

Blind contour drawings are made by putting the drawing tool to the paper and making a continuous line drawing of an object without looking at the paper.

Objective: To focus on hand/eye coordination; to practice and improve this coordination.

More to Come Soon!